Lughnasadh Rite

(Grateful thanks go to Robert Lee “Skip” Ellison and his book The Solitary Druid from where most of this ritual is stolen and adapted.  The rest was shamelessly lifted and adapted from materials available at adf.org)

All text spoken by the officiant is in bold.  Text in BOLD AND ALL CAPS are to be spoken by all.

Procession & Outdwellers

(sung)

Come we now as a people
To gather at the sacred well.
Come we now as a people
Together in the warmth and the light of the sun.

(Pause at entrance to grove)

Outdwellers all, we make this offering to you.  You who walked in the terrible chaos and stood against the gods, you who were here before we came to this land, you the bodiless souls who wander, any whom may wish our rite ill feelings, please accept this libation, drink deep and be soothed and trouble us not during our rite.  (pour libation at entrance to grove)

Purification

Smudging and/or water purification before entry to the grove

Honoring the Earth Mother and the Statement of Purpose

Earth Mother, you are our foundation, our place of safety and the source of our strength.  We give honor to you with this offering (place offering in bowl) and ask that you join with us today to honor the Mighty Kindreds.  Earth Mother we honor you!

ALL:  EARTH MOTHER WE HONOR YOU!

(bestow a kiss upon the earth, as you are able)

O Ancient Ones, we are here to honor you and to preserve the Old Ways.  We have come today to celebrate the harvest and to consecrate its first fruits.  We are here to renew our connection to you and to the sacred land.  We are here to honor the Gods!

ALL:  WE ARE HERE TO HONOR THE GODS!

Meditation/Establishing the Group Mind

Close your eyes.  Take slow, full breaths and allow your mind to settle and focus on the work to be done.  Feel the wind on your face, the sounds of the trees, and the smell of the fire.  Allow these sensations to fill your mind.

Now using your inner vision, let your being move out of your body and flow down into the ground.  As you move down, you can smell the warm, clean smells of the earth, hear the sound of sweet water as it passes by you.  You can feel the movement of energies around you.  Follow these energies down until they join with the current of molten lava flowing around and through the earth.  These currents are the source of the power in the Earth.  They flow around and under the skin of your Earth Mother.  They change the shape of the continents and allow new earth to form.  As you flow with these energies, allow your being to fill with them.  Filled with the warmth of these energies, allow your being to start moving back up toward the surface, toward your body.  As you move upward, you know that you are bringing these energies with you – not just what’s within you, but the totality of these energies.  As you reenter your body, let these energies flow out from you and move around the sacred space.  As the energy moves around this place, you can feel the warmth around you.

As you feel that warmth around you, let your being again move out of your body.  This time, allow it to move upward.  As you move up, you can hear the wind around you, smell the clouds as you pass through them, and feel the water in them.  Above you, you can see a star brighter than the others.  This star is your special star, the source of the power from the Sky.  Allow your being to move up until it merges with this star.  The energy here is different from the energy of the Earth, colder but still very powerful.  Let this energy fill you until your being feels full.  Now start back down toward the sacred space and your body, bringing the energies with you.  Again, you’re bringing not just the energies within your being, but the totality of those energies.  As you come back into your body, let these energies flow out from you and move around the sacred space and the energies from the Earth.

With the powers and energies of the Earth and Sky joined together here with you, be filled with the power and love that is here.  Be at peace with yourself.  Now, open your eyes and let your vision return to your mortal eyes as the rite continues.

(Re)Creating the Cosmos

(sing)

(chorus)
By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky

We stand like a tree: rooted deep, crowned high.
   
Come we now to the Well: the eye and the mouth of Earth,
Come we now to the Well: and silver we bring,
Come we now to the Well: the waters of rebirth,
Come we now to the Well: together we sing:
(chorus)

We will kindle a Fire: Bless all, harm none,
We will kindle a Fire: and offerings pour,
We will kindle a Fire: A light like Moon & Sun,
We will kindle a fire: To help our spirits soar.    
(chorus)

Gather we at the Tree: the root & the crown of all,
Gather we at the Tree: Below & above,
Gather we at the Tree: Together we make our call,
Gather we at the Tree: In wisdom & love.
(chorus)

Sacred Well, let your waters flow down, down to all the sweet waters beneath the earth.  We ask you to become the mouth of the earth, the eye of the earth, the opening of the earth.

(give offerings to the Sacred Well in the offering bowl)

Sacred Fire, become all the fires that have burned and that ever will.  And may you carry our words, praise and love to the Gods and Goddesses, Ancestors and Nature Spirits.

(give offerings to the Sacred Fire in the offering bowl)

Sacred Tree, roots going into the Mother below and with your crown stretching to the heavens above, we ask that you connect this world with all the other worlds.

(give offerings to the Sacred Tree in the offering bowl)

Opening the Gates

Manannan mac Lir, rider of the waves, guide to the land of eternal youth, come to us now with your coracle, your magic boat, the Wavesweeper.  Manannan, we ask that you join your magic to ours and let the Well open as a Gate, and let the Fire open as a Gate, and let the Tree extend through the Gate, to carry our voices to the Gods.  O Manannan, let the gates be opened!

ALL: O MANANNAN, LET THE GATES BE OPENED!

Inviting the Kindreds

(sing)
Gods and Dead and Mighty Sidhe,
Powers of Earth and Sky and Sea,
By Fire and Well, by Sacred Tree,
Offerings we make to ye.

We call now to you who have come before.  Ancestors of our tribes, our people, and of the tribes that were in this place before us.  This offering is for you.  (place offering in offering bowl)  We ask that you give us your aid in our work today.  Ancestors, be with us!

ALL: ANCESTORS BE WITH US!

We call to the Spirits of Earth, creatures of land, you who walk, crawl, and grow, creatures of the waters, who swim, float, and cleanse, creatures of the sky, who fly, glide, and soar, and to those of the Fair Folk who live with us here.  This offering is for you.  (place offering in offering bowl)  We ask that you join your might with ours for this rite.  Spirits of the Earth, be with us!

ALL: SPIRITS OF THE EARTH BE WITH US!

We call now to all the Gods and Goddesses not specifically named in the rite, the mothers, the warriors, healers, gods of the land, gods of the sky, gods of the earth and of the people. This offering is for you.  (place offering in offering bowl)  We ask that you join us today and give your aid and your blessings to this working.  Shining Ones, be with us!

ALL: SHINING ONES BE WITH US!

Offerings and Invitation to the Beings of the Occasion

We call to Tailtu, most devoted of foster mothers.  You have shown us how to prepare the field and how to sow the grain into the warm earth.  You gave of your life in this effort so that we might have life from the later harvest.  We give you these offerings to thank you for your gifts to us.  (place offering in bowl)  Tailtu, be with us!

ALL: TAILTU, BE WITH US!

We call to Lugh, Lugh of the Long Arm, master of all arts.  We ask that you bring your skill to us as we ask you here to partake in the first fruits of the harvest.  You have shown us how to take care of grains and how to reap the harvest.  Join with us now, Lugh, to eat the breads baked with the harvest.  Our grain has grown heavy and ripe and we have brought back the wheat of our Ancestors.  Join with us, Lugh, and accept our offerings.  (place offering in bowl)  Lugh, be with us!

ALL: LUGH, BE WITH US!

Individual sacrifices, if any, are to be done here

Prayer of Sacrifice

So we have given of our love and our wealth to the Mighty Ones. Now let our voices arise on the fire, let our voices sound in the well, let our words pass the boundary to the otherworlds. Blessed Folk, we give you our love, our respect, our devotion as we pray you.  Mighty Kindred, accept our sacrifice!

ALL: MIGHTY KINDRED, ACCEPT OUR SACRIFICE!

Omen

Having prayed to the powers, let us open to them, asking what blessings they offer us in return.

Omen is taken as usual. The seer then interprets the omen.  Company recenters in preparation for the blessing.

Calling for the Blessings

Ancient and mighty ones we have honored you. We pray you honor us in turn, for a gift calls for a gift. Hear your children.  Shining Ones, give us the waters!

ALL: SHINING ONES, GIVE US THE WATERS!

We thirst for the waters of wisdom, of bounty, of rebirth from the well of wisdom, from the spring of renewal, from the bosom of the earth mother. Hear us.  Shining Ones, give us the waters!

ALL: SHINING ONES, GIVE US THE WATERS!

We open our hearts to the Great Ones blessing. We stand in pride, honor and friendship with all the powers of the worlds. Hear and answer us now.  Shining Ones, give us the waters!

ALL: SHINING ONES, GIVE US THE WATERS!

Hallowing the Blessing

(Ale/whiskey is poured into horns or cups as applicable)

We draw blessings from the cauldron of life. We pour the ale of inspiration. Behold the holy cup of magic, the outpouring of blessing from the Mighty Ones. When we share the draught of the gods we drink in wisdom, love and strength to do as we will in the worlds, in service to the shining ones.

Hear us and hallow these waters! We, your children, rejoice in your gift. Bless our spirits and our lives with love, magic and bounty as we drink these sacred waters.  Behold the Waters of Life!

ALL: BEHOLD THE WATERS OF LIFE!

Affirmation of the Blessing

As the blessing goes around the grove sing the following:

Pour the waters, raise the cup.
Drink your share of wisdom deep.
Strength and joy now fill us up.
As we the elder ways do keep.

Workings (if any)

Any?

Thanking the Beings

Lugh, great warrior, we thank you for your aid and your blessings today.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Lugh, we thank you!

ALL: LUGH, WE THANK YOU!

Tailtu, foster mother of all, we thank you for your aid and your blessings today.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Tailtu, we thank you!

ALL: TAILTU, WE THANK YOU!

To all the gods and goddesses who were here, but not named, we thank you for joining with us and giving your blessings.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Gods and Goddesses, we thank you!

ALL: GODS AND GODDESSES, WE THANK YOU!

To all the Spirits of Nature, we know you are around us every day and are always in our lives.  We thank you for joining with us today and giving us your blessings.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Spirits of Nature, we thank you!

ALL: SPIRITS OF NATURE, WE THANK YOU!

Ancestors, without you we wouldn’t be here.  We thank you for joining with us and giving us your blessings.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Ancestors, we thank you!

ALL: ANCESTORS, WE THANK YOU!

Closing the Gates

Manannan mac Lir, rider of the waves, you have been our guide to the Land of Eternal Youth.  We ask that you come to us now as this rite is ending and we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Manannan, we thank you!

ALL: MANANNAN, WE THANK YOU!

Manannan mac Lir, we ask you to join your magic with ours, and let the Well be once again a well, and let the Fire be once again a fire, and let the Tree be once again a Tree.  O Manannan mac Lir, let the gates be closed!

ALL: MANANNAN MAC LIR, LET THE GATES BE CLOSED!

Thanking the Earth Mother

We give you our thanks, Earth Mother, for being present during this rite of our thanksgiving.  Please walk with us through our nights and days, both the sad and the sweet.  We give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  (bestow a kiss on the earth, as you are able)

Meditation/Return Flow

Once again close your eyes.  Using your inner vision, look at the sacred space filled with bright swirls of energies – energies that have come from above and below and from within yourself.  Take those energies from the Sky above and bring them back into yourself.  Now, let your being expand upward, back toward your special star.  Bring those energies with you and guide them on their way back to the star.  As the energies leave your being, keep what you need for yourself, and let the rest go.  Let your being return to your body as you continue.

Now, as you look around you, you see that energies of the Earth are still swirling around you.  Take these energies into yourself and start transferring them back to where they came from, back into the dark, moist earth below you, back under the skin of the Earth Mother, keeping as much as you need for yourself.  Let your being return to your body.  As this phase of the work draws to a close, allow your body to be energized by the forces that have gone through it.  Open your eyes and look around you at the sacred space.  Be at peace with yourself.

Closing the Rite

Go now with the peace of the blessings of the Kindreds.  Walk in the joy of the coming harvest and share with those who have not.  And most of all, be good to each other.

(sing)

We are the old people
We are the new people
We are the same people
Better than before

Better/Stronger/Wiser/Braver

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